The world has witnessed a shaky start to 2020. Alongside political confrontations and social issues, a new health crisis has emerged, originating in the Wuhan region of China – the coronavirus. As the number of cases and levels of panic increases, it is important to know the hard facts. Here is all you need to know about this global pandemic.
What is Coronavirus
Coronavirus refers to a large family of viruses (infectious agents that only replicate inside living organisms), which can produce a variety of symptoms. The sudden acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), is an extreme example of the harm a coronavirus can cause. Most of these viruses, however, produce only mild common cold like-symptoms, which an individual can recover from. Coronaviruses are usually transmitted from animals to humans, but once they make the jump, human-to-human contact can also lead to the disease.
The New Problem – (2019-nCoV)
The strain of coronavirus that is currently threatening the world is a new strain of the virus, not previously encountered in humans or animals. It is believed to have been transmitted to humans through Wuhan’s exotic animal delicacies, possibly bats. The strain is also to the SARS-causing coronavirus, which has added an additional layer of alarm to the situation.
There are a few major problems with coronavirus right now –
- Even though it produces manageable symptoms such as cough, cold and in some cases breathing issues, this new coronavirus is extremely contagious. Thus, it can and has quickly overwhelmed medical responses due to the sheer volume of people being infected every day.
- There has been no medical treatment developed that can prevent the spread of any coronavirus in a human body, which means that there are no medicines or vaccinations on hand to protect vulnerable individuals.
- Similarly, no medical barriers exist to prevent healthy individuals from being infected by sick people. Doctors, nurses, and volunteers are regularly putting their own health at risk to bring comfort to the sick.
- The origin of the virus is very ill-timed and geographically unfortunate – China is the most populous country in the world and several tourists were in the country to enjoy the Lunar New Years.
- With the virus mimicking symptoms of common cold, knowing when the individual has been infected without proper medical screenings is difficult.
Symptoms of Coronavirus
Here are the symptoms of Coronavirus, which mimic the symptoms of the common cold –
- Breathing difficulties
- Severe cough
- Impaired kidney or liver function
What Should You Do?
Given that India has confirmed cases of the virus, and its incubation period is unknown, it would be best to exercise extra precaution if you or a loved one has fallen sick right now. Seek medical help and a full screening immediately, and ensure that the sick person is isolated but well-cared for. Since there is no medical treatment for coronavirus, your recovery depends upon your immune system. Thus, you need not be scared even if you are sick – high chances are that you will recover, as most patients across the world are. If you have existing medical conditions, however, or a weaker immune system, it would be best to seek amp up your precautionary measures for some weeks.
Above all, it is important to not give into panic and myth-mongering, which will only make the situation worse and make things difficult for the medical effort. Instead, rely on facts and reliable precautionary measures.
With panic you would only make yourself more susceptible to virus due to decreased immunity. As stress leads to decrease in immunity.
Here are some important links you can bookmark, compiled by the World Health Organization addressing this coronavirus outbreak –